Liverpool (AFP) - Nicol David, the Asian sportswoman of the year, dug herself out of trouble to earn a notable revenge and a place in the semi-finals of the British Open. The world number one from Malaysia was a game and 4-7 down and yet recovered to win 7-9, 9-7, 9-5, 9-2 against Shelley Kitchen, the New Zealander who had delivered her a stunning defeat in the World Open in Madrid seven months ago. Kitchen looked if anything to a better player now than she did then, but David did a better job of dealing with the pressure which the hard-hitting six-foot two-inch Kiwi applied. "I had to get my bearings," said David, referring to the need to adapt from the first match, which was played on a conventional plaster court for the first round, to a cooler, slower glass show-court. "I had to get things going, and I told myself not to let her in before I got my rhythm and gained momentum." David just about did that, but there were some worrying moments as Kitchen made progress with fierce low driving and hard-to-read fast boasts which hurtled off the sidewalls with sudden wrong-footing change of direction. At times the favourite was not as accurate as she would have liked and did not look all that comfortable, but crucially she made a good low kill to reach 5-7 and a superb backhand drop to reach 8-7. These were her really first good winning shots and they signalled that David was getting used to the court. They coincided with Kitchen beginning to fell the pace of two long first games. "I think that gave me more time on the ball, and it helped me take the momentum," David said. When that happened David made steady progress in the third game, taking four points in a row to reach 6-4 and then winning the last four points in one service sequence as Kitchen's error ratio began to rise. After finishing that game with another winning drop shot and a generally more accurate game, she raced away with the fourth game, reaching 7-0 before Kitchen could score. "I'm really pleased to win that," said David. "She's been giving everyone a hard time and it wasn't at all easy." David now plays Natalie Grainger, the former world number one who was born only 30 miles away from here but who is now an American. The winner is bound to play a surprise finalist because both Rachael Grinham, the defending champion, and her younger sister Natalie Grinham, the Commonwealth champion, were beaten in the bottom half. Rachael, looking quite unlike the player who also won the World Open seven months ago, was beaten in four games by Jenny Duncalf, the fifth-seeded English woman, and Natalie retired with a thigh injury at one game all against Isabelle Stoehr, the French number one. Stoehr thus became the first French woman to reach a British Open semi-final, but it was a bad day for the highest ranked French player, Gregory Gaultier, who produced an indifferent performance and lost his British Open title. The world number two from Aix-en-Provence was beaten 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 in only 40 minutes by Karim Darwish, the third best Egyptian, hitting the last service return into the roof in disgust. On a day which cascaded with surprises, Amr Shabana, the top-seeded World Open champion, also went out, looking less than enamoured with his lot and losing in four games to David Palmer, the three times former British Open champion from Australia. The Egyptian by contrast has won the World Open three times but has never quite produced his best in this event. Later there was French consolation for Gaultier's defeat when Thierry Lincou, the former world number one from Marseilles, reached the semi-finals with an 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 victory over Mohammed Azlan Iskandar, the Malaysian giant-killer. Lincou was at his well-organised, economical best in despatching the conqueror of Super Series champion Ramy Ashour, a success which took him to within one win of his third successive British Open final. Lincou next has a semi-final with James Willstrop, the world number three from England, but was still prepared to answer the question to whether this British Open would be third time lucky for him. "Deep in my heart, I hope so," the 32-year-old replied.